The province of Modena covers an area of 2,689 sq.km and borders the province of Reggio Emilia to the west, the region of Lombardy to the north, the provinces of Bologna and Ferrara to the east and the region of Tuscany to the south.
The province stretches from the Apennine mountain range to the down to the low plains south of the Po river. These plains are a particular characteristic of the province and are considered to some of the most beautiful in Italy. The highest peak in the province is Monte Cimone at just over 2000 metres and is part of the Tuscan/Emilian Apennines.
This ancient city is located on the south side of the Po Valley with the Apennine mountain range lying about 10 km. from its southern border. It is the capital city of the province of Modena in the region of Emilia Romagna. It has been nicknamed 'The Capital of Engines' due to the many factories of famous Italian sports cars that are based there. These include Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani and De Tomaso.
It is a university town and the University of Modena was founded in 1175 and it specialises in Economics, Medicine and Law. There is also the Military Academy of Modena which is housed in the Ducal Palace and trains Italian military officers.
The main square and centre of the city is Piazza Grande and most of the important buildings are in or around this area. There is a huge, covered market, 'Mercato Albinelli' which was founded in 1931.
Modena is a delightful city with an important place in history, to say nothing of its reputation for excellent food. Above all else Modena is famous for it production of Balsamic Vinegar.
The building of the Cathedral of Modena began in 1099 and after being consecrated in 1184 it was finally finished in 1319. It is one of the most important Romanesque buildings in Europe and is a World Heritage Site together with its annexed bell tower, Torre della Ghirlandina.
The Ducal Palace, built in 1634 was the seat of the Este court between the 17th to 19th centuries and it occupies the site of the former Este Castle. The Palace is currently home the Military Academy, the Military Musuem and an ancient library.
The Town Hall of Modena was constructed in the late 17th, early 18th century from some already existing buildings. It has a late 15th century clock tower and originally had a second tower which was unfortunately completly destroyed in an earthquake in 1671.
The Museum Palace was originally built as a hostel for the poor, together with the nearby hospital. It now houses most of the main museums of Modena.
There are other more specialised musuems within the Musuem Palace including musuems of headstones and plaster casts.
Away from this building the city has other musuems:
Some churches of note in the city are:
This is a busy town with much industry and work, particulary in industry and craft. It suffered very badly in the two earthquakes of 2012 but has recovered well and is a nice town to visit.
Carpi is an open, lively town and has a stunning Renassance square, Piazza dei Martiri, which is the largest in the region of Emilia Romagna and is flanked by a portico with 52 columns.
The main sights of interest are:
Best known as the home of Ferrari S.p.A. and the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team. There is also a Ferrari museum here, 'Museo Ferrari and it is the starting point for the annual Italian Marathon.
The Fiorano Circuit, Ferrari's private testing track, is located on here, just on the border with the town of Maranello. It is also the finishing point for the annual Italian Marathon.
The town has some interesting historical buildings including the Castle of Spezzano, the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine del Castello, the ancient oratory of San Rocco Parish church of San Giovanni Battista and the Theatre Astoria. There are also many beautiful villas such as Villas: Villa Campori, Villa Pace, Villa Guastalla, Villa Coccapani, Villa Cuoghi and Villa Messori.
An extremely popular tourist resort Nonantola is also an important cultural centre.
Nonantola Abbey a Benedictine monastery was founded in 752 and up until 1083 it was an imperial monastery. After this it began to decay and despite coming into the possesion of several orders the decay continued until 1786 until it was finaly restored by Pius VII in 1821.
There are several remains from the middle ages in Nonantola including the two towers called dei Modenesi and dei Bolognesi and the 9th century Pieve of S. Michael Archangel.
The main historical monument is the Abbey of San Sylvester which is a Romanesque basilica which was erected in the 8th century.
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